(pronounced "SHEN shoo-EE BEE-on")
"We should insist on Taiwan's independent sovereignty. This is not our job; it is our mission."
Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC) since 1949, is a semitropical island about 145 km (90 mi) off the southeastern coast of mainland China. With a total land area of 35,203 sq km (13,592 sq mi), Taiwan has an estimated 22,603,000 inhabitants (February, 2003.) The P'eng-hu (Pescadores) Islands and 13 scattered offshore islands, including Quemoy and Matsu, are also part of Taiwan. Approximately 98% of the population is ethnically Chinese and the remainder consist of nine aboriginal tribes of Mayalo-Polynesian ancestry. The Chinese are divided into three groups: the majority Amoy Fukienese; the minority Hakkas; and the "mainlanders" who fled the mainland when the Communists seized power in 1949. Mandarin Chinese is the official language and Taiwan's main religions are a mix of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism (93%) and Christianity(4.5%). The literacy rate is 94%.
Taiwan is a rich and recently industrialized nation, with a per capita income of US $17,200 (2001 estimate). Primary exports consist of textiles, clothing, chemicals, machinery, and consumer electronics. Its major trading partners include the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The national currency is the New Taiwan dollar. The capital and largest city is Taipei, with an estimated population of 2,880,000.
Office of the President
Chiehshou Hall, Chungking S. Road
Taipei, 100, Taiwan